PACE Community Access Fund – Supporting Access to Learning
Date posted: November 23, 2020
Adult students can encounter several barriers to participating in community literacy programs. This year the barriers are particularly evident due to the impact of COVID-19. Financial assistance can help address some barriers.
Have you heard of the PACE (Pacific Association of Continuing Education) Community Access Fund? The purpose of this fund is to help remove barriers by providing financial resources with few strings attached to fill gaps more formal funding channels do not meet. Administered by Decoda, this is funding that community literacy programs can apply for to help adult learners with short-term needs such as childcare, transportation, technology, books and more.
Here’s an example of how the funding has been used (name changed for confidentiality):
Doug was referred to our office by his worker at mental health and substance use. He was interested in learning to read and wished to return to the workforce. Doug was set up with a tutor for reading and joined a trades math group. During his intake, we determined that he required corrective lenses for reading. Doug pays 980.00 monthly for rent (1200.00 being his monthly income) and as a result could not afford either a cell phone or an eye exam. Working with his support worker, we were able to provide Doug with a cell phone (donated) and monthly pay-as-you-go costs. This allowed him to retain contact with his literacy tutor. We also arranged for his optometrist appointment, ensured he was accompanied and covered the balance of the costs, facilitating access to corrective lenses. This allowed him to be able to practice reading properly.
Currently we are able to distribute $15,000 throughout BC. Requests for funding exceed this and we’d like to be able to offer more.
This year, donations to Decoda on Giving Tuesday will be directed to the PACE Community Access Fund. Please consider donating on December 1st to help us support more BC adult learners. Thank you!